Saturday, November 29, 2008

Treasure Trove

I went to a historic-downtown's Christmas kickoff festival this afternoon with Jenny and Mark - it was so much fun! I hadn't realized how many great little shops were there - the last time I tried to go, the whole square was under construction and it looked like everything had shut down. I'm so glad it was temporary!

One place we spent a LOT of time was at one of the many (MANY) antique malls in the square - I didn't buy much, but what I did get was fantastic. All of the items in these photos came from one big bag labeled "Misc. Craft" for $4.95. What a fantastic find! Vintage pearl trim and little pink pearls (love those!), tons of tiny silk flowers, various colors of shiny cord and rick-rack, several odd tiny crocheted bits, a big bag of fabric leaves - so much fun stuff!

And some, well... really ODD stuff...

The skull button creeps me out, so it won't be sticking around, but I think the tiny plastic flies are hilarious. I need to find something great to do with them.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One Card Two Ways

Several birthdays of family and friends were this week, so I was on a birthday-card kick this weekend. The first two I wanted to do were for two very different people, so I thought I'd challenge myself to take the same sketch and same sentiment and make it two completely unique ways. With the first, I found this purple background paper that really reminds me of the birthday girl, and came up with a scrap of coordinating purple cardstock. The "Celebrate" stamp is from one of my most versatile sets - it's just four stamps, and the others are "friendship," "thank you," and "love" - I can usually use one of them for just about anything. Since the purple is so dark, I decided not to fight it with a light color ink that might not show up, but instead emboss with one of my sparkle embossing powders. The ribbon picks up on the sparkle with a little silver thread, and the brad gives it a royal touch.

Materials: Paper: SU! Old Olive, unknown textured shimmery white, unknown patterned paper, Papertrey Plum Pudding; Stamp: SU! Wonderful Words; Ink: Versamark; Titanium embossing powder, Papertrey Silver Sheer Metallic Edge ribbon, brad from Creative Imaginations

For the second birthday card, I wanted to get a fun juxtaposition of serious and playful - this shimmery navy cardstock from Papertrey is just right for that feel, and the textured shimmery white scrap I found works with it nicely. The swiss-dotted ribbon from Papertrey brings in some playfulness and girliness, which I finished off with the little Prima flower.

Materials: Paper: Papertrey Night Sky Shimmer, unknown textured shimmery white, SU! Night of Navy (I think - another scrap), Papertrey white; Stamp: SU! Wonderful Words; Ink: Versamark; Papertrey Sheer Swiss Dot ribbon, Titanium embossing powder, Prima flowers, brad

Still here...

I have some posts ready to go, but they're birthday cards that haven't gotten to the recipients yet, so they'll go up once they've had a few days to get through the mail. Just thought I'd let you know I'm still here!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shy bird

I can't seem to get a good picture of this one - partly just a light issue, since I got home after dark today and can't use natural light - and partly the glitter. Glitter is kind of hard to photograph, because it catches so much more light than anything else. This is pretty far outside my usual style, but I saw this use of the bird in a magazine and happened to have the same paper pack (Basic Gray Eva again), so I thought I'd try it out. The plastic bubbles are adhered with Stickles, so that there's a little shine around them.

Materials: Paper: Papertrey white, Basic Grey Eva; Ink: Stampin' Up Purely Pomegranate; Stamp: SU! Wonderful Words; Pink baubles from Michaels, Silver Ice Stickles

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bright Birthday

I came up with this birthday card for my cousin tonight - it's from the newest set of Basic Grey papers, Eva. I put together the stamp with my JustRite stamper and the tiniest letters they carry - I couldn't believe there were enough letters and enough space to spell out "Happy Birthday To You" twice!

Materials: Paper: Papertrey white, Basic Grey Eva; Ink: Stampin' Up! Purely Pomegranate; Stamp: JustRite stamper; Ribbon: Papertrey Silver Sheer Metallic Edge

Sunday, November 16, 2008

1 glitter, 2 glitter, 3 glitter, 4...

I thought it'd be fun to see how many glittering techniques I could get on to one card - these die-cuts from the Basic Grey Figgy Pudding pack are great for glittering, so I cut out the presents from another paper in the pack and had some fun. Crackling (on the top ornament) obviously isn't glitter, but since I've been playing with it this weekend too, I figured I'd put it in there. The second ornament has small glass glitter adhered with heat-and-stick powder, and the presents are both embossed with glitter powder and doodled with a glitter pen (mostly on the ribbons and dots).

Materials: Paper: Papertrey white, Basic Grey Figgy Pudding; Stamps: Inkadinkadoo Holiday Collection, Fancy Pants Pollen Dust (it's the same flourish I used yesterday, just turned sideways to look like a tree); Ink: Stampin' Up Cranberry Crisp, SU Old Olive, Versamark; Ranger Crackle Accents, glass glitter, heat-and-stick powder, Titanium embossing powder, Versamarker, Sakura Gelly Roll glitter pen, pop dots, twine

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Crafty fun night

My sister came over last night for a Christmas-craft night. The original plan was to make cinnamon-scented ornaments, but I let the dough dry out too much before we got around to working with it, so we did other things. While she cut out pieces for a little felt pig, I glittered and crackled some little ornament-shaped pieces. The crackling turned out realy cool - I used Crackle Accents from Ranger Ink on die-cuts from the Basic Grey Figgy Pudding set of papers.

Materials: Paper: Basic Grey Figgy Pudding; Ink: Versamark; Crackle Accents from Ranger Ink, glass glitter, heat gun

For the glittering, I covered an ornament with Versamark, then with heat-and-stick powder that I got from Stampin' Up. As soon as I heated that with my embossing gun, I moved the ornament to my powder/glitter tray and coated it with glass glitter - it's kind of pebbly but still tiny, and gives the finished product a really nice texture. I heated it again after that to set the glitter. This ornament just happened to coordinate really well with Papertrey's Aqua Mist ink, so I stamped a flourish from my favorite Fancy Pants set as a background. I like keeping this one really simple, since the glittered ornament is such a bold focal point.

Materials: Paper: Basic Grey Figgy Pudding, Papertrey white; Ink: Versamark, Papertrey Aqua Mist; Stamps: Fancy Pants Pollen Dust; Ribbon: Papertrey Silver Sheer Metallic Edge; glass glitter

I also played around with some beading - I might make these into little hairpins to give someone as a stocking-stuffer.

Materials: Seed beads, pearl beads, wire

This isn't Christmasy, but I just had to do something with the Sassafras Lass papers and chipboard elements I picked up yesterday. They're so adorable! It took for-freaking-ever to weave the background for this card - I used to help my mom weave raw silk for these fancy-pants jackets and stuff, and it's actually not much easier to do it for a teeny tiny card front than it is for yards and yards of silk. I think it's a cute background for this little bunny, though. The set has a really interesting dichotomous theme of cute animals and office-y images like graph paper, bits of accounting books, and notebook-paper-style lines, so I picked up on the more utilitarian side and mounted the chipboard frame on plain notebook paper. This way, once I decide what occasion to use it for, I can just write in the sentiment.

Materials: Paper: Sassafras Lass "My Dearest," Papertrey white; Accents: notebook paper, Sassafras Lass chipboard sticker shapes

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another golden oldie

I've been so wrapped up in work this week, I haven't had much time to stamp. Happily, I'm taking tomorrow off, and I plan to get all of the necessary errands out of the way early so I can spend the rest of the day on crafts. I was looking through my Splitcoast gallery for inspiration (I usually look at other people's galleries for inspiration, but sometimes I like to look through my own stuff to find good concepts that were executed badly, to see if I can improve on them) and found this card I'm particularly proud of.

One reason I love it is that it reminds me of the wallpaper in my bedroom when I was little - I know that sounds weird, but I loved the tiny floral print on that wallpaper, and the twill makes me think of the molding around the walls of that room. I might dig back into this paper set tomorrow - I love how tiny and dainty the design is, and how well it works with the coordinating cardstock.

Materials: Stamps: Papertrey Butterfly Kisses; Paper: Papertrey Berry Sorbet, Sweet Blush and white, Papertrey Pink Patterns, Papertrey Everyday Blessings; Ink: Chocolate Chip; Accessories: Chipboard letter, brads, tiny primas, Berry Sorbet twill tape

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lady Bookplates

My sister wants some bookplates, so I thought I'd come up with a cute new design for her. I love this "Little Lady" from Papertrey Ink... there are two sizes of wings and bodies to choose from, and I used the small one on these, along with the dotted trail.

I used the same JustRite border, and sticky-ed up the backs with my Xyron. That's just such a great tool.

Materials: Stamps: Little Lady from Papertrey Ink, JustRite stamper; Ink: Palette Noir, Pure Poppy from Papertrey Ink, Versamark; Cardstock: Kraft from Papertrey; Black embossing powder from Joann, embossing gun, Xyron

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Getting Started on the Holidays

So I picked up the Martha Stewart Holiday magazine today at Barnes & Noble, and I'm totally inspired. It's full of stuff I feel like I could actually do, stuff that's fresher than the old pinecone-birdfeeder crafts. So I got started on a Christmas gift that I thought of yesterday when I picked up some new JustRite borders with my garage sale credit. The borders read "From the Library of:", "From the Kitchen of:", and "From the Desk of:".

I also got inspired today while I was playing working with the big industrial Xyron at work... I had been trying to think of something big to get with the rest of my credit, and went over to the store to see the little Xyrons. Turns out they weren't even really that expensive, so I got one, and made these bookplates tonight. I think I'm going to do writing paper as well... it'll make a nice little gift set!

Materials: Lemon Tart cardstock, Pure Poppy ink, Palette noir ink, Remember stamp set (all Papertrey); Versamark, Stampin' Up! silver embossing powder, heat gun, Xyron create-a-sticker

(I'm going to start adding this "Materials" section to all my posts, because even though I try to mention everything within the post, I frequently forget, like I did this time, and end up overlooking mentioning something like Remember, which is the one flower set I'd have if I could only have one flower set.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

"To-go" Christmas cards

Each year, I make one design of Christmas cards to send out myself, and a second design for others who'd like handmade cards to send out. This is my "to-go" design this year. It's a watercolored design on Basic Grey "Figgy Pudding" paper. I used this design a few years ago, when I was just starting out, for my own Christmas cards, and I think I've improved on it this time. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of the original design - it was really something.

The only thing still missing from this card, which I plan to add to the finished version, is some glimmer mist I'll be picking up this week. I think it'll add a nice subtle shine to the main image and give a little emphasis to the lamplight. This photo isn't the best of the main image, but I wanted to show what I did with the inside - I wanted to dress up the sentiment by illuminating the first letter. Little tip of the day: When I'm doing an inside sentiment on a card, I always stamp it before I mount anything to the front. That way if it's messed up or crooked (because it's almost guaranteed to be if I've already put the front on), I can just fold the base the other way and cover up the mistake with the card-front.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Getting there

You'll recall the wretched mess I was dealing with a few days ago. We got on the stick last night and cleared up the whole apartment - moved unpacked boxes to one location, stacked nicely, organized things to make it easier to unpack. I've spent today unpacking stamping stuff and figuring out my organization scheme. I went by the Scrapbook Barn garage sale, just to see how things were going, and was excited to pick up a brand new set of IKEA organization baskets - 4 for $10. I'd actually been planning on getting the same baskets when we make a big IKEA run for furniture, so I was glad to find them. The smaller ones hang perfectly on the shelving that's already built into the closet.

I set up my stamps on this small shelf - I still need to hang my ink pad holders, but I forgot to bring a hammer and nails over from the old place. I did get my paper organizer set up, though, so everything's pretty much at hand. I put up one of my favorite organizational tools in the closet - an over-the-door shoe holder. I use one in the pantry for spices, one in the coat closet for sundries like screwdrivers, batteries, and tape measures, and now one in my craft room for punches and other small items. Everything's coming together really nicely!